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Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro in Moscow, Russia is the world's largest underground rail system, in terms of passenger rides. It is well known for the ornate design of many of the stations, containing stunningly beautiful examples of socialist realist art.

In total, the Moscow Metro has 265.2 km of track, 11 lines and 162 stations, and on a normal weekday it carries 8-9 million passengers. Although the lines have designated numbers, on some maps lines are identified by names referring to the areas they serve. Line 5 is a 20 km long ring line connecting all other lines. The system is almost entirely built underground, although some lines (1, 2, 4) cross the Moskva river[?] and line 1 also the Yauza river on a bridge. An exception is the Filyovskaya which has a longer surface section between Kievskaya and Molodyozhnaya with 7 above-ground stations.

The first line opened on 15 May 1935 between Sokol'niki and Park Kul'tury with a branch to Smolenskaya which reached Kievskaya in April 1937 (crossing Moskva river[?] on a bridge). Two more lines were opened before World War II. In March 1938 the Arbatskaya line was extended to Kurskaya station (now Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya - dark blue line). In September 1938 the Gorkovsko-Zamoskvoretskaya line opened between Sokol and Teatral'naya.

The projects of the third stage of the Moscow metro were delayed during the World War II. Two metro sections were put into service: Teatralnaya - Avtozavodskaya (3 stations, crossing the Moskva river in a deep tunnel) and Kurskaya - Izmaylovskiy Park (4 stations).

After the war construction started on the fourth stage of the metro, which included the Kol'tsevaya line and a deep part of the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line from Pl. Revolyutsii to Kievskaya.

The Kol'tsevaya line was planned first as a line running under the Sadovoye Koltso (Garden Ring), a boulevard ring running along the limits of 16th century Moscow. The first part of the line - from Park Kul'tury to Kurskaya (1950) is indeed situated under this boulevard. But later plans were changed and the northern part of the ring line runs 1-1.5 km outside the Sadovoye Koltso, thus providing service for 7 (out of 9) railway stations. The next part of the Kol'tsevaya line opened in 1952 (Kurskaya - Belorusskaya) and in 1954 the ring line was completed.

The reason for the construction of a deep part of the Arbatskaya was the beginning of the cold war. Stations are very deep and were planned to serve for hiding people even in the case of nuclear war. After finishing the line in 1953, the upper tracks between Pl. Revolyutsii and Kievskaya were closed. In fact they were reopened in 1958 as a part of the Filyovskaya. In the further development of the metro, the term stages was not used anymore, although sometimes the stations opened in 1957-1958 are referred to as the fifth stage.

The Moscow Metro has broad gauge, 1524 mm, like the regular Russian railways, and third rail supply. The average distance between stations is 1800 m (!), the shortest (585 m) section being between Aleksandrovskiy Sad and Arbatskaya and the longest (3.5 km) between Volgogradskiy Prospekt and Tekstilshchiki. The long distances between stations has the positive effect of a commercial speed of 42 km/h.

Since the 1970s, platforms have been built 155 m long, prepared for 8-car trains. Trains on lines 2, 6 and 7 consist of 8 cars, on lines 1, 3, 8, 9, 10 of 7 cars and on lines 4, 5 and 11 of 6 cars. All cars (both older E-series and newer 81-series) are 20 m long with four doors on either side. The Moscow metro train is identical to those used in all other ex-Soviet metro cities (St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Minsk, Kiev, Kharkov, etc.) and in Budapest and Prague.


# Name Opened Length Riding time
1 Sokol'nicheskaya (Kirovsko-Frunzenskaya) 1935 26.2 km 41'
2 Zamoskvoretskaya 1938 36.8 km 50'
3 Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya 1938 18.9 km 30'
4 Filyovskaya 1935 14.4 km 27'
5 Kol'tsevaya (ring line) 1950 19.4 km 29'
6 Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya 1958 38.1 km 58'
7 Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya 1966 35.9 km 48'
8 Kalininskaya 1979 13.6 km 17'
9 Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya 1983 38.9 km 58'
10 Lyublinskaya 1995 18.4 km 25'
11 Kakhovskaya 1984 3.5 km 5'

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